In a Thursday interview with Grindr’s new online publication, Into, the 43-year-old musician opened up about her identity for the first time. “This is my fifth decade being alive,” she explained, “and in each of those decades, there’s been a time where I’ve tried to say, ‘Hey, I think I’m transgender!’ This was even before that word existed.” For now, she’ll continue to go by “Gavin,” but said that may change in the future.
Russom joined LCD Soundsystem shortly before the band recorded 2010′s “This Is Happening,” which was then intended to be its final album. Since then, she’s stayed active in music with a handful of solo projects as well as collaborations with Delia Gonzalez and The Crystal Ark. She’s slated to make her public debut as a trans woman July 13, when she’ll DJ at the Femme’s Room party at Chicago’s Berlin nightclub.
Russom’s decision to come out just months before LCD Soundsystem returns with a new album, “American Dream,” was a deliberate one. As a public figure in the mainstream music scene, she’ll embrace being a role model to young people who may be struggling with coming to terms with the gender identity. “For anybody who is struggling with their gender identity or who wants to come out and is afraid to, what would be better than giving someone permission to do that through my performance? That’s the ultimate,” she explained to Into’s Nico Lang. “It’s what other people gave to me, so I’d love to pass that along to other people, too.”
Russom said she’s well aware of the challenges she’ll face as a newly-out transgender woman at a time when many members of the LGBTQ community feel uncertain about their future under President Donald Trump. “For people of transgender experience, walking out of the house in a way they feel comfortable is a revolutionary act. It’s resistance,” she said.
The ongoing debate whether or not trans people should be legally permitted to use public bathrooms that best correspond with their gender identity, she said, is a very specific concern. “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, but I have my good days and my bad days,” she said. “On my bad days, it really sucks and I wait until I get home to go to the bathroom—which is such a basic thing.”
Read Into’s full interview with Gavin Russom here.
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